L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Siachen holds key to India’s security

While a solution to the India-Pakistan stand-off on Siachen is urgently needed, no progress on this score is possible unless peaceniks in India stop claiming that Siachen offers “no strategic value” to either country ('Siachen demilitarisation', June 1).

For India, Siachen acts as a buffer against China and Pakistan, given that the former is already conspicuous by its presence in Kashmir’s Gilgit-Baltistan region. If Pakistan gets Siachen it can easily take over Ladakh and get a foothold in India. Pakistan would be able to secure a common border with China, facilitating a closer military link with it.

Siachen is not a dispute between India and Pakistan only; it involves China too. Beijing has repeatedly said that as far as Shaksgam Valley dispute is concerned, it will negotiate only with the country that has control over Siachen.

Siachen holds the key not only to India’s security in Kashmir, but also to India’s territorial claim to the Shaksgam Valley. Therefore, India must insist that any settlement of the Siachen dispute must take cognisance of the actual ground position held by armies of the two countries.



Pakistan has been engaging with China against India by trying to combine the glacier with the Karakoram ranges (Arun Joshi’s article 'No thaw till Pak signs line on map', June 10). If that happens, the security of Ladakh will be compromised. Just imagine the fate of India if Siachen is vacated in good faith and one fine morning Pakistani army moves upto the Karakoram Pass and links Pak-occupied Baltistan with China-occupied Aksai Chin. We will then be surrounded from three sides in Ladakh by our two adversaries. Therefore, the Saltoro Ridge and the Siachen glacier have to be held by us at all costs. India should guard itself against falling into any trap.

Those advocating the pullout of troops from Siachen are looking at short-term political gains rather than long-term national interest. The crux of their argument is that we need to trust Pakistan and show it on ground. Their view will hold water provided Pakistan shows credibility, which it has not since 1949. 

In case we vacate Siachen, we will not get a second chance to regain it and we will be at the receiving end. Thanks to modernisation of the Army and vision of our senior Army commanders, logistics have considerably improved in Siachen and casualties due to weather and maintenance costs have also reduced.  So, let’s keep our powder dry. There is no question of vacating our own territory which we have consolidated at a cost of over 4,000 causalities of our men and thousands of crores of rupees in maintaining it.

Col R D SINGH (retd), Ambala Cantt

Mindless litigation

Demanding resignation of ministers or the government on one pretext or the other has become a routine, stereotype and hackneyed phenomenon in Indian politics(editorial ‘PC has a point’, June 9). Politicians especially the ones who do not have clear cut goals and policies in mind indulge in cheap political gimmicks to score brownie points.

In order to minimise such superfluous petitions and litigations, the courts should take serious view of such practices and try to expedite matters to give justified relief to the petitioners and defendants both. The petitioners initiating superfluous cases without any merit should be penalised.

The piles and piles of political cases lying pending in courts, some authentic and some politically motivated speak volumes of the misutilisation of the judicial norms which have been formulated for public reprieve. The leaders should not only be honest but look to be honest too. In the same manner, Opposition should not only be constructive but look to be positive too.


Poll violence

It is quite surprising to see that Punjab Assembly elections were conducted in a smooth and violence-free manner four months back with a record turnout and the civic polls were marred with violence. Many cases of alleged rigging, booth capturing, bogus voting as well as allegations of misuse of official machinery were reported from the districts which went to the polls. Is this just because these elections were conducted under the supervision of the State Election Commission (SEC) rather than the Election Commission of India?  After all, the same SAD-BJP coalition was in power during Assembly elections in January this year.



Enough for all!

Though man is the supreme creation of God, he fails to be positive in thoughts and deeds. The middle ‘Not Shy to be Small’ (June 11) has very aptly delineated the thankless nature of man who has been provided with a bounty of resources which fulfil his basic requirements and still has the tendency to accumulate more than his needs. He, like an ant, can satisfy his hunger and that of others but because of his carelessness, selfishness and self-centred demeanour, he overlooks the needs of others.

True, tonnes of foodgrains get wasted in our country because of lack of planning and proper execution. The real happiness and contentment lies not in accumulation but in feeding the hungry and making them happy.




HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |